Friday, December 20, 2019


Resolute Reads
Pelosi’s Latest Stunt is Fresh Proof How Cynical Impeachment Drive Has Been
-New York Post
Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House will sit on its Articles of Impeachment “for as long as it takes” to get the trial they want in the Senate. “On Thursday, she even bristled when reporters kept querying her about it. ‘Don’t you have any questions on anything else?’ she asked — when the House just spent 12 weeks to produce only the third impeachment in US history,” the New York Post editorial board writes.

When a coup backfires: “Trump approval rating on impeachment day hits highest point since March 2017”
These Have Been the Best Few Weeks of Trump’s Presidency
-The Washington Post
“These past few weeks have arguably been the best of Trump’s presidency — not despite impeachment, but in no small part because of it,” Marc Thiessen writes. The victories are many: USMCA is set to replace NAFTA, China has agreed to a major Phase 1 trade deal, and our booming economy is lifting worker wages and slashing income inequality.

More: CNN Poll: US economy receives its best ranking in nearly 20 years
House Clears U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Deal in Win for Trump
-CBS News
“The House of Representatives passed the revised trade agreement with Canada and Mexico on Thursday, handing President Trump a major legislative victory . . . The lower chamber approved the deal, known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or the USMCA, with a bipartisan 385 to 41 vote,” Melissa Quinn and Grace Segers report.

Peter Navarro: “President Trump is simply doing what the American people hired him to do”
Senate Sends $738B Defense Bill to Trump
-The Hill
The Senate passed a crucial defense bill this week that President Trump will sign today, Ellen Mitchell reports. The legislation includes everything he asked for: a big pay raise for our troops, funding for the U.S.–Mexico border wall, establishment of the Space Force as our 6th military branch, and 12 weeks of paid family leave for federal workers.

Another signature win: “Trump Signs Bill Restoring Funding for Black Colleges”
Obama’s FBI and the Press
-The Wall Street Journal
“Thanks to a report from the Obama-appointed inspector general of the Justice Department, now everyone knows the truth about 2016. The Obama administration misled the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and wiretapped an American who supported the presidential campaign of the party out of power,” James Freeman writes.

President Donald J. Trump Approves New York Disaster Declaration

Office of the Press Secretary
President Donald J. Trump Approves New York Disaster Declaration

Yesterday, President Donald J. Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of New York and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, and flooding from October 31 to November 1, 2019.

Federal funding is available to State, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms, straight-line winds, and flooding in the counties of Chautauqua, Chenango, Cortland, Erie, Essex, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Oswego, Otsego, Saratoga, Tioga, and Warren.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Pete Gaynor, Acting Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Robert Little III as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.


1600 Daily The White House • December 19, 2019 Nancy Pelosi Doesn’t Want to Talk About Impeachment

1600 Daily
The White House • December 19, 2019

Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to talk about impeachment

So much for “solemn.”

For nearly 3 years, Democrats in Congress openly made plans to impeach President Donald J. Trump. While Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed that “no one comes to Congress to impeach a president,” some House Democrats did exactly that—and said so explicitly.

“I would vote yes” on impeachment, one said during her campaign more than a year ago. “I recognize [President Trump] as a tyrant.”

Another Democrat made this promise hours after she was sworn into office in January: “We’re gonna impeach the motherf****r.”

The list goes on. Speaker Pelosi doesn’t want mainstream Americans to see comments like those. She knows the rest of the country would be appalled by the way House Democrats talk to their far-left base. And she knows it would expose the truth about impeachment: that it was always a partisan move to silence the voices of 63 million Americans. It never mattered what the facts were or what the law said.

You can’t have it both ways. Democrats can’t lecture the country about the gravity of impeachment and then turn right around and make a mockery of it for their voters.

YesterdaySpeaker Pelosi assured the public that the impeachment vote would be a “solemn” process and a prayerful day for America. Not everyone got the memo: Speaker Pelosi may be captive to her party’s growing radical, Democrat-Socialist movement, but she’s no dummy. She knows how bad this all looks. In full damage-control mode, she made two shocking announcements just hours after the House vote.

The first is that she’s done talking about impeachment. “I’m not going to answer any more questions” about it, she said this morning.

Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham called her out, noting that the White House had been answering reporters’ questions about it all morning. “When you wrongfully impeach a President, people deserve answers. You’ve been talking nothing but impeachment for months (years really)—why the silence now?”

The second stunning move Speaker Pelosi announced? After rushing to complete the fastest impeachment of a President in U.S. history, the House will now hold onto the Articles of Impeachment instead of passing them along to the Senate for trial. Democrat leaders know the Senate will acquit President Trump—after all, their Articles don’t even allege that he committed a crime—and they don’t want the weakness of their case exposed.

House Democrats got their historic day. They now own the first impeachment in American history that had no bipartisan support, only bipartisan opposition. They now own the first impeachment that contains no criminal violations, only political disputes.

It’s a terrible precedent for our country. Speaker Pelosi knows that. Just don’t ask her about it, OK?

Here’s what President Trump did today.

Something to shareThey’re not after me. They’re after you.


Office of the Press Secretary

Oval Office

3:01 P.M. EST

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much.  We have a very big announcement, to me.  I think it’s been many years -- I hear 10 years, maybe more -- where Jeff Van Drew, highly respected -- in fact, I didn’t know, as a Democrat, how you could have won in that district.  I know the district very well.  But that is a great tribute to you.  But Jeff will be joining the Republican Party.

     And we were very fortunate he voted our way yesterday, as you probably know.  And we had a totally unified party.  I don’t think there’s ever been a time where the Republican Party was so united.  But Jeff will be joining the Republican Party.  And I really -- to me, it’s a very exciting announcement.  I think, Kevin, you said it was about 10 years since that’s happened.


     THE PRESIDENT:  And I don’t even know who the last one was.  It would seem to me it was even more than that.  But it’s a big deal.

     LEADER MCCARTHY:  It’s a very big deal because he’s going from the majority to the minority, and it normally doesn’t go that way.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Right.  Yeah, but he’s very smart because he knows it’s not going to be the minority for long.  I have a feeling we’re going to do very well in 2020, in November -- November 3rd, to be exact.  Get out and vote.

     But, Jeff, thank you very much.  It's a great honor.  Thank you.

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  Thank you, Mr. President.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Please.  Would you like to say something?

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  So, I have a few words.  And I usually never, ever -- I don’t read speeches.  And this won’t be very long --

     THE PRESIDENT:  Sure.

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  -- I promise you, Mr. President.  But I had a few bullets.  There’s a few points I really wanted to make today.

     And I would start with how this started.  I’ve been a Democrat for a lot of years.  And I actually had a meeting with somebody about two weeks ago, I guess it was.  And the individual was a local county chairman in the Democratic Party.  And he sat down and he says, “I just want to tell you something.”  And he said, “I want to tell you that you can’t vote against impeachment.”

     I said, “What do you mean I can’t vote against impeachment?”  He says, “You can’t vote against impeachment.  You will not…”  I have eight counties in my district.  “You will not get the line.  You will not get the county.  I will do everything to prevent that from happening, and everything to destroy you.”  This is a pretty young guy, so it was pretty gutsy.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah.  A wise guy.

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  And it kind of hurt because, for years, I have given everything that I could to my people and my district.

     You know, Mr. President, you asked why I win.  Truthfully, because I’m a crazy man, and when people have a problem, when they need something, when we want to help them -- I have the best staff in the world, good people around me, and we do everything that we can to make it better.

     And that kind of hurt, and it kind of made me think a little bit: Is this what I really want to do?  Because there were other times in my life, when I thought about this.  I thought about it when I did legislation.  And, actually, it was in the state senate.

     And I don't know if this is going to be relatable to not, but I want to say it anyhow because I've always wanted to just mention this because I think it's important, in a way.  This is not -- it was not a complex bill.  It was not something that was, you know, very difficult to understand.  It isn't intellectually stimulating to some people.  I understand.  But I did two bills, and one of them -- it's unusual for New Jersey -- would allow, in any public or private building, to have "In God We Trust" on the wall.  And the second one was that you could fly the American flag wherever you wanted to, however you wanted to, as long as it was respectful.

     And I thought these were wonderful bills.  I mean, I thought everybody was going to be, "This is just a great thing."  And I had some very progressive -- and not all Democrats -- but these were really progressive Democrats that came to me and said, "We're really disgusted with you."  And I said, "Why?"  “Making such a big deal about the flag.  The flag is just not that big a deal.”

     THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah.

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  “‘In God We Trust’ is not that big deal.”

     THE PRESIDENT:  That's where they’re going.

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  “And you shouldn’t even mention His name.”  And I was shocked.  I was shocked.  We put them up anyhow, and we did want we wanted to do.  But it really --

     THE PRESIDENT:  That's a very Republican thing, by the way.  (Laughter.)

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  I know.  I know.

     THE PRESIDENT:  You're not going to find any one of us that -- I can tell you, Kevin, Mike, I think you're okay with it, right?

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  And I think most folks should be okay with it.

     THE PRESIDENT:  The whole country should be okay with it.

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  You're right.

     I talk about American exceptionalism.  This is the greatest country on the face of the Earth.  I started out as not a wealthy kid.  Had the opportunity to work hard.  Got into dental school, graduated.  And, my God, I'm sitting here next to the President of the United States.  That's unbelievable.  That's America.

     So I don’t want anybody to ever tell me that there isn't American exceptionalism.  I don’t want anybody to ever say that this is the same as every other country in the world, because it is not.  It is not.  And you know that and I know that.  And, hopefully, everybody in this room knows that.

     And, again, from certain groups of people that represented certain parts of the party, I was criticized.  And they said this country is the same as every other country, and there is no such thing as American exceptionalism.

     I'm a capitalist.  Socialism, in my opinion, has no place in the United States of America.  And I think everyone should know that.

     I believe that this country can afford people opportunity and give them that opportunity so that they can succeed.  And we all should know that as well.

     I love bipartisanship.  Do you know that I even had times, quite frankly, being a Democrat -- again, not from all folks; there's some middle-of-the-road folks -- but from some of these extreme folks that they said, "Bipartisanship is a bad thing."

     THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah.

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  "It's a bad thing because it's going to make you more like a Republican."  Again, I don’t believe that.  I don’t think you do.  I believe in what you’re doing with the economy.  It’s a better, stronger economy.  I believe it’s going to be even better.

     THE PRESIDENT:  A new record today, by the way.  It’s up 125 points today.  So your 401(k)s are way up.  But a new record today, Jeff.  So, that’s great.

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  And thank you for that.  I believe the New Green Deal is something that we should never, ever even think about doing.  I don’t even know how anybody could bring that up.  We can have a strong and good environment and we can have a good economy at the same time.  And that’s something that I think Republicanism represents.

     Lower taxes, balancing the budget, honoring our police, our fire, our rescue, our veterans, our soldiers -- these men and women.

     I want to tell you one quick story.  Chris will have a picture of it.  He’s -- like I said, he’s a Marine.  An older gentleman.  Is he a Marine too, that stood out there?

     PARTICIPANT:  (Inaudible.)

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  He's a Marine, right?  An older gentleman, when he heard I announced -- in the cold -- came in front of my office and stood out there holding the American flag for 12 hours in honor of it.

     THE PRESIDENT:  That’s great.  Wow.

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  It’s -- it was an amazing thing.  And not quite the peop- -- the length of time people wait for you, but --

     THE PRESIDENT:  That’s okay.  (Laughter.)

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  -- that was still pretty neat.  (Laughter.) 

     THE PRESIDENT:  That’s okay.  They won’t do that if you’re a Democrat, I can tell you right now.  Wouldn’t go well.

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  So, I guess what I say is, I believe that this is just a better fit for me.  This is who I am.  It’s who I always was, but there was more tolerance of moderate Democrats, of blue-dog Democrats, of conservative Democrats.  And I think that’s going away.

     Two more things I want to say: One, you have my undying support.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you very much.


     THE PRESIDENT:  And, by the way, same way.


     THE PRESIDENT:  I’m endorsing him.  Okay?  We’re endorsing him.  I can’t speak for these two gentlemen, but I can say, “I’m endorsing him.”


     THE PRESIDENT:  How do you feel about that, Mike?  Are you okay?

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  You have my support and gratitude, Congressman.

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  Thank you.  Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

     LEADER MCCARTHY:  You have my support as well.

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  Thank you, Leader.

     THE PRESIDENT:  We're together.  Thank you.

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  And the last thing I will say: One of my heroes -- and he’s always hung in my office; I have a bipartisan wall that has a lot of different people on there -- Ronald Reagan.  And when he said, “I didn’t leave my party.  My party left me." 

     THE PRESIDENT:  That’s true.  That’s what he said.

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  And I'm saying the same thing.

     THE PRESIDENT: He was a Democrat and he -- he moved over.  And he said exactly those words.  That’s fantastic.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.


     THE PRESIDENT:  It's really good.  Beautifully done.  It's beautifully done.  Thank you.

     Mike, do you have anything to say?

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, I just -- I just want to say: Welcome to the Republican Party.


     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Congressman, it’s an honor to share this moment with you, with the President of the United States, and with the Republican Leader, with your team and their family, as well as, I know, another public official from New Jersey that will be following your lead.

     THE PRESIDENT:  That’s right.

     THE VICE PRESIDENT:  But as I told you before, I also -- I just want to tell you how grateful we are for your voice of reason and common sense in the days leading up to your decision.  You showed personal and political courage.  And I know the people of your district will be as grateful as we are today for your leadership and for the decision you’ve made.

     And we look forward -- we look forward to serving with you together and working with you on behalf of New Jersey and America for many years to come.

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Good.  Thank you, Mike.  Kevin?

     LEADER MCCARTHY:  Well, we just want to welcome you to the party, but more importantly, if there’s anybody else that feels like you.  If there are other people out there that feel this new socialist-Democrat wing of the party has left them behind, join with us.  Because everything you talked about is an American issue, and it shouldn’t -- it shouldn’t have to be debated, whether there's a flag or God or others.

     And so we’ve worked together even when you were on the other side of the aisle, but it’s nice to have you on this side now, too.


     LEADER MCCARTHY:  And you just changed our number to 18.  We only need 18 more to be the majority.  And I think we’ll do that soon.

     THE PRESIDENT:  We’re going to do very well.  We’re way up in the polls.  And we’ve gone up more, I think, proportionately, than we have ever gone up, in the last two weeks.  And we’re honored.

     Now, I understand, they’re playing games.  They don’t want to put in their articles -- their ridiculous, phony, fraudulent articles.  And I think they’re not allowed to do that.  I hear it’s unconstitutional and a lot of other things.  But they don’t want to put them in because they’re ashamed of them, because it’s a -- what they’ve done is wrong and it’s bad for the country.  Very, very bad for the country.

     We’re trying to get USMCA done.  We’re going to get that done, I think, pretty quickly.

     We have our great deal with China.  China has already started to buy, with the farmers and with the manufacturers.  Tremendous amounts of money are being spent back in the United States.  And the farmers are happy.  They had to put up with a lot, but we took care of them out of the subsidies that we were getting out of the tariffs that we were getting.  But China is now buying very big in the farm belt and in the manufacturing belt also.  They’re spending a lot of money.  And I said it was going to happen and it happened.

     And we’re going to get a lot more.  They want to make -- they want to keep going.  They’re still paying tremendous amounts of tariffs, and they’d like to have the tariffs reduced.  And we’ll see if we can get a second part of the deal.  But the USMCA -- the combination of those two deals will be the two greatest trade deals.  You’ll never see anything like it.  So we’ve done very much what we’ve said.

     You know, Jeff, we rebuilt our military.  We spent almost $2.5 trillion on the military.  When we came in, the military was totally depleted.  I will say, the Democrats did not help.  They’re not into the military at all.  And we spent $2.5 trillion.  We have new planes.  We have new everything right now.  Much of it’s coming over the next year.  But within a year, we’ll be in a position that we’ve never been in, in terms of equipment.  And the military will be a strong as it ever was -- proportionately, maybe stronger.

     So it’s been an amazing period of time.  And to have you is a tremendous asset for the party.


     THE PRESIDENT:  And again, thank you very much, my friend.


     THE PRESIDENT:  We’re with you all the way.

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  Thank you.  Thank you.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

     REPRESENTATIVE VAN DREW:  I’m with you.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Tremendous honor.  Thank you.

     Q    Mr. President, can you speak personally for a moment and just tell us: What does it feel like to be the third President in U.S. history to be impeached?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I don’t feel like I’m being impeached, because it’s a hoax.  It’s a setup.  It’s a horrible thing they did.  They happened to have a small majority, and they took that small majority and they forced people.  And, you know, they said, “Oh…”  I watched Pelosi out there saying, “Oh, no.  We don’t want to talk to anybody.”  They put the arm on everybody.  They tried to get them to do what they had to do.  Many of those people were like Jeff, where they didn’t want to vote that way.

     But it doesn’t feel -- to me, it doesn’t feel like impeachment.  Last night, I said it -- I -- we had a great time last night.  The room was packed.  Thousands of people couldn’t get in.  A section that, really, is a pretty much 50-50 section, in terms of Democrat-Republican, we had -- every one of those people is voting for Trump/Pence.  Every one of them.  And it’s Michigan -- an important state.  We brought back tremendous amounts of business, tremendous car companies coming in -- everything else. 

     And I’ll tell you, I was up there and I was thinking about -- I actually said it: It doesn’t feel like impeachment.  And you know what?  It’s a phony deal.  And they cheapened the word “impeachment.”  It’s an ugly word.  But they cheapened the word “impeachment.”  That should never again happen to another President.

     And I think you’ll see some very interesting things happen over the coming few days and weeks.

     But, to me, all I look at: We have the greatest economy in the history of our country.  We’ve never done so well.  Our military being rebuilt.  You take a look at the tax cuts.  You take a look at the regulation cuts at levels that nobody has ever seen.  We’re protecting our Second Amendment, which other people won’t do.

     No, we’re doing things that nobody has ever done before.  Nobody has ever seen.  We have the strongest economy in the history of our country and our country is doing well.

     And, you know, the other thing that I really saw from yesterday that -- I think you people have been covering politics for a long time.  You've never seen a Republican Party -- zero negative votes.  Zero.  That hasn’t happened almost ever.  Because the Republicans are not necessarily known for that.

     We have better policy.  They want open borders -- the Democrats.  They want sanctuary cities.  A lot of bad things happen.  A lot of other things they have.

     We're doing tremendously on healthcare.  The individual mandate -- you know, we won yesterday in Supreme Court.  You saw that, in the appellate division.  We won yesterday.  Individual mandate is now gone.  That’s tremendous savings.  That was the worst part of Obamacare.  We take care of preexisting conditions.  They're not going to be able to do that.
We're doing things that nobody has ever done before, and our country has never done better.  So, we're really happy about it, and we're really happy to have Jeff onboard.

     And we think, in 2020, based on the polls -- I just saw a poll came out in USA Today yesterday where I'm beating every candidate by a lot.  I guess most of you saw it.  Not that USA Today is a friend of mine, because they're not.  But they had a poll, and it was me against their top candidates on the other side.  And I'm beating everybody by a lot.  And I think that’s where we're going.

     I mean, we have the best economy in history.  And if you remember the famous quote, "It's all about the economy, stupid."  Well, I don’t -- I never believed it was all about the economy. But the economy is a big thing.  When you have 401(k)s where people are up 70, 80, 90 -- and even more than that -- percent.  They like Trump, and they like Mike.  And we're going to have a good time.

     Thank you all very much.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

     Q    Can you tell us about your strategy for the Senate, sir?  Can you tell us a little bit about your strategy for the Senate trial?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Uh, we think that what they did is wrong.  We think that what they did is unconstitutional.  And the Senate is very, very capable.  We have great senators -- Republican senators.  We cut your taxes.  We cut your regulations.  We did things that nobody else would even think about being able to do.

     And I think -- you know what one of the things, Jeff, that we've done that nobody wants to talk about: This week, I will have signed the 172nd federal judge, including appellate judges.  We'll have 182 by the end of the year.  One hundred and eighty-two.  It's unheard of.

     Now, President Obama was very nice to us.  He gave us 142 empty positions.  That’s never happened before.  But, as you know, that’s said to be the most important thing that a President has.  I happen to think military and defense and all of it is the most important thing, but this is right up there.

     We’ll have 172 judges.  We're going to have 182 by the end of the year or shortly thereafter.  And it's the most incredible thing.  And two Supreme Court justices -- two great ones.

     So with all of the things we've done, and we've done that with the Senate -- because what's never said is that, in the last election, we picked up two Senate seats.  Nobody talks about that.  And we couldn’t focus on the House.  I couldn’t focus on the House.  We'll be very focused on the House this time.  But I couldn’t -- other than Andy Barr, who won against the same candidate that’s now going against Mitch.  And she wasn’t very good against Andy Barr, and she won't be very good against Mitch McConnell.
But we’ve had tremendous success.  So, I'm going to let them decide what to do.  That’s going to be up to them.
Thank you all very much.  Thank you everybody.  Thank you.  Thank you.

     Q    Is Pat going to be your lead attorney in the Senate?

     THE PRESIDENT:  I think so, yeah.  He's doing a great job.  Pat.

     Q    You think so?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah.

     Q    Is he going to be your main lawyer in the Senate?

     THE PRESIDENT:  It looks like that.  Yeah, Pat Cipollone.  We have a couple of others that we're going to put in.  But Pat has been fantastic as White House Counsel.

     Thank you, everybody.

                         END                 3:19 P.M. EST 

REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP AT THE WHITE HOUSE MENTAL HEALTH SUMMIT South Court Auditorium Eisenhower Executive Office Building

Office of the Press Secretary

South Court Auditorium
Eisenhower Executive Office Building

3:49 P.M. EST

     THE PRESIDENT:  This is a great group.  I know so many.  Please, sit down.  Please.

     So, I heard about this.  Actually, for a couple of weeks, I heard about it.  And I said, “I have to do it.”  Not much going on around the White House.  (Laughter.)  You know, we’re not too busy.

     But we have the great Ben Carson.  Thank you, Ben.  That’s great that you’re here.  Where’s Dr. Drew?  Where is he?  Dr. Drew.  Did I do your show?  (Laughter.)  Did you have the greatest ratings you’ve ever -- (laughs).  We had some good ratings, right?  Congratulations.  Everything going well?  It’s been a while.  Right at the beginning of this whole thing, right?  Good.  Thank you very much for all you do.

     I want to just let you know how important it is -- the work you do and what you do.  And I want to thank Joe for the job he’s been doing.  It’s incredible.  Kellyanne, thank you so much.

     The White House Mental Health Summit -- so important.  We’ve done things that a lot of people haven’t done, but this is one of the things that we have to bring up to date.  Because we’re way, way behind, in our country, on mental health.  And I think we’ve made a lot of progress in a short period of time.

     We’re grateful to Secretary Alex Azar -- done an incredible job.  His son is with him today.  Alex, where’s your son?  Look how handsome he is.  (Laughter and applause.)

     And, by the way, speaking of Ben Carson, the job he’s done at HUD with some concepts that -- if you were only in the real estate business, to head up HUD, you’d never be able to do what Ben is doing.  Because he’s brought some things into the fore that have been really fantastic, Ben.  So, thank you very much.  Incredible job you’re doing.  And I’m not surprised.  (Applause.)

     My administration is strongly committed to helping Americans suffering from mental illness.  In the 1950s, there were over 250,000 -- but it’s truly 550,000 -- could be, probably.  You know, there’s no really accurate way of figuring it out.  But they’re looking at 610 [thousand]; they have numbers that are all over the place.

     But these were people in mental hospitals and mental hospital beds in the U.S.  By 2016, this number had declined to 37,679.  They had a much more accurate number.  The first, they didn’t really know.  And the second, they knew: 37,000.  But it was anywhere from 550 [thousand] down to 37,000 beds.

     Of the 11 million Americans living with severe mental illness, 4 million receive no mental health service of any kind.  Four million people.  There are more than one hundred and -- if you look at it, over 100,000 homeless individuals.  And I think that number has to be much, much higher than that, Alex.  Wouldn’t you think?  They say over 100,000.  You look at some states, they have over 100,000 -- one in particular-- homeless individuals with serious mental illness.

     And we must give major consideration to building new institutions.  You know, when I was growing up in Queens, in New York, we had a number of mental institutions.  And I’d look and I’d see these big buildings.  And all of a sudden, you go and you don’t see them anymore.  And you say, “What happened to all of those beds?  What happened to all of that work?  And where are those people?”  And in many cases, those people are living on the streets.  It’s much different.

     And somebody made the decision a long time ago and they did it for budgetary reasons, but we have to take care of our mentally ill.  We have to help people that are having problems.

     But I see it.  So many areas of -- in Queens and other areas; New York City -- you saw these massive buildings.  In some cases, they did great work, I guess.  Not in all cases.  But you don’t have them anymore, Dr. Drew.  You don’t have them.  They’re gone.

     And you say -- and these are thousands -- tens of thousands of rooms.  And you say, “Well, we have more population now, and yet we have far less beds and rooms.”  So we’re doing something about it.

     At the same time, we need to keep very dangerous people off our streets.  And we want to take care of the mental illness, but we have a lot of very dangerous people on our streets.

     This week's funding bill provides $3.9 billion for mental health programs -- $3.9 billion -- an increase of $328 million.

     And my administration is focused on early detection, evidence-based programs, stopping the opioid epidemic -- which is an incredible problem.  Just the drug epidemic, period.  You could say "opioid," but you could still say "drugs."  There's never been anything like it.  And not only in this country, in all countries -- in almost all countries.  And supporting our new law enforcement professionals, who are doing such a fantastic job.

     We’re also doing screening for our vets for mental illness, which is something they haven’t done.  Our vets are being taken care of now better than ever before.

     We had Choice passed.  This was something they've been trying to get.  For close to 50 years, they've been trying to get it.  Veterans Choice -- where if you don’t see a doctor fairly quickly, you can go outside, get a wonderful private doctor, and we pay the bill.  It's made such a difference.  You don’t see the problems that you were seeing at the VA.  So, that’s a tremendous thing.

     But we have to work on a lot of different things in that world.  That’s a big world -- between drugs, mental illness.  It's all -- it all comes together as one big problem.  And we're working on it very hard.

     And many of the people in the room are the leaders on that.  And I just want to thank you.  That’s why I wanted to come over and say hello and thank you -- because you do a job.  You really are fully appreciated.  You feel you are underappreciated because you don’t see it.

     But I'll tell you: The people of this country respect you so much.  You have one of the toughest professions anywhere in the world, even tougher than Ben.  And Ben's is tough.  (Laughter.)  Ben's is called "housing."  That’s tough.  You've got housing and plenty of other things on top of it.  You sort of have everything.

     But I just want to thank you personally for the job you do.  It was really fantastic.  And thank you very much, all of you.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Appreciate it.  Thank you, everybody.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you.

                        END                 3:55 P.M. EST  

Bill Announcement

Office of the Press Secretary
On Thursday, December 19, 2019, the President signed into law:

H.R. 5363, the "Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education Act or the FUTURE Act," which makes permanent $255 million in mandatory funding for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs); enable disclosure of tax return information for the administration of Federal student financial aid programs; and increase funding for the Federal Pell Grant program.

Statement from the President

Office of the Press Secretary
Statement from the President
I have signed groundbreaking legislation to support America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and to simplify the Federal financial aid application for millions of American families.  President Obama and the Obama Administration were unable to get this done.  I got it done.

I wish to thank the leaders who helped pass this legislation: Secretary Betsy DeVos and Secretary Steven Mnuchin, along with Senator Lamar Alexander, Senator Tim Scott, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, Representative Virginia Foxx, and Representative Mark Walker. Thanks also to United Negro College Fund President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Lomax, Thurgood Marshall College Fund President and Chief Executive Officer Harry Williams, and National Association for Equal Opportunity President and Chief Executive Officer Lezli Baskerville.

When I took office, I promised to fight for HBCUs, and my Administration continues to deliver. A few months ago, funding for HBCUs was in jeopardy. But the White House and Congress came together and reached a historic agreement. For the first time ever, I signed legislation to permanently fund HBCUs and other institutions that primarily serve first-generation and minority students. This action guarantees more than $2.5 billion over the next 10 years, including $850 million specifically for HBCUs.

Today’s achievement continues my unprecedented commitment to HBCUs. During my first weeks in office, I moved the HBCU initiative, led by Johnathan Holifield, to the White House and worked with Congress to increase funding for HBCUs by more than $100 million. HBCUs have never had better champions in the White House.

The bill I signed today also reforms the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. The Internal Revenue Service will now seamlessly transfer applicants’ records to the Department of Education, so that families can use a simpler, shorter application for financial aid and those with student loans do not have to complete a cumbersome income certification process year after year.  This is a transformative change that has been talked about in Washington for more than a decade, but everyone always said it could not be done. We got it done.

My Administration will continue to fight for HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions, as well as the millions of students and hundreds of communities they serve.  These wonderful institutions are essential to Keep America Great.

West Wing Reads Nancy Pelosi is Stalling on the Impeachment Trial Because She Knows Democrats Messed Up

West Wing Reads

Nancy Pelosi is Stalling on the Impeachment Trial Because She Knows Democrats Messed Up

“Nancy Pelosi isn't stupid. The speaker of the House knows her party screwed up their ridiculous and desperate impeachment push, apparently not having thought things fully through,” Eddie Scarry writes in the Washington Examiner.

“Immediately after her party voted, with a few Democratic defections, to impeach President Trump, she threatened to withhold sending both approved articles to the Senate for a trial.” Why did House Democrats go through a rushed impeachment process if the charges might not even be sent to the Senate?

“The answer is obvious. Public support for impeachment and removal cratered after the congressional hearings last month”—particularly among independents.

Click here to read more.

Must-read4 Reasons Trump’s Impeachment Is The Weakest In U.S. History
“House Democrats voted Wednesday evening to impeach Donald Trump but, media high-fives aside, what have they accomplished? They have failed to persuade the country; they have set a new, low standard for impeaching a President; [and] Mr. Trump will be acquitted in the Senate,” The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.
“Several Washington Post reporters were under fire late Wednesday night for celebrating ‘Impeachmas’ following the impeachment of President Trump . . . ‘Merry Impeachmas from the WaPo team!’ WaPo Congress reporter and CNN political analyst Rachael Bade remarked in the post,” Joseph Wulfsohn reports for Fox News.
“There is a reason why impeachment is so rare: It is the process by which the Congress overturns the will of the people. Some 63 million Americans voted for Trump, and it is an intensely powerful action to disenfranchise them . . . Congressional Democrats are setting a dangerous precedent by which any future president may be impeached for political and policy disagreements,” Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) writes in USA Today.